- The integration matrix reloaded: from ethnic fixations to established versus outsiders dynamics in the Netherlands
- Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 40 | 9
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In the Netherlands, there is increasingly critical debate about the government's top-down ethnic categorisation procedures and the assumption that analyses of integration should be based on internally homogeneous (and dichotomous) ethno-cultural blocks. While concerns about the ageing approach mount, no unified alternative framework has emerged. Informed by Brubaker's work on ‘groupism’, we provide an account of the currently dominant approach and outline an alternative vision of social divisions, exclusion and inclusion. More specifically, we offer a framework that can help researchers consider easing away from ethnic reification (as well as from the attendant analytic promotion of highly subjective notions such as ‘ethnic groups’) and towards analyses founded on more objective, ‘first-order’ social scientific categories. Making use of Elias's work on established and outsider dynamics, and dealing substantively with education, we flesh out how an alternative approach to in- and exclusion in contemporary Dutch society might be put to use. The goal, in short, is to assist researchers interested in a path leading to more grounded, relational and processual approaches to integration.
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